“Do you think you have a good life?” he asked, tapping his pen against a leather-bound notepad.
I smiled. The therapist had been asking me this question in a variety of ways over the last few weeks, and I had supplied the same answer in a variety of ways.
My mother, disturbed by my sudden drop in school performance after the attack, had taken matters into her own hands. Against my father’s protests, she had taken me to her therapist.
“I think some parts of it could be better, but for the most part, yeah, I think I have a good life.” I replied.
The therapist nodded. He’d been expecting the answer.
I looked out the window. I loved the view from here. The window overlooked an old cobblestone courtyard, and directly across from the window was an old stone building with a slate roof. Rain water cascaded down the slate tiles like a tiny waterfall. It was January, but winter hadn’t managed to get a grip on the climate yet.
Therapist, I thought to myself, The Rapist. Probably an old joke, but I found it funny. I tried not to smile.
“Do you have any friends?” he asked. This was a new question, though I had been expecting it, even from the very beginning. My mouth was suddenly filled with the taste of metal. I considered a moment how to answer the question.
“Yeah. One or two.”
I hated the way he wrote in his pad every time I said something. I wondered if he were writing my answer down, or his thoughts. I suspected it was both, but maybe it was neither. Maybe the pad was just a prop, something to help keep me out of my comfort zone.
“Can you tell me about them Adrian? Your friends.” he asked. Rain pattered against the window.
“What do you want to know?” I asked. I refused to make this easy for him.
“You could start with their names.” he responded immediately.
I nodded, and continued to watch the rain run down that window across the courtyard.
“My cousin Mike. Probably my best friend in the world, except for maybe my sister.” I answered.
He just nodded and scribbled, letting the silence between us draw out. I would not be the first to fill it. Eventually he spoke. “We’ll talk about both of them soon. Anyone else? Anyone not related to you?”
“Amy.” I answered after a long drawn out pause.
I watched him look over top of his glasses at me. “Amy? Tell me about Amy.”
I sighed and leaned back into the overstuffed chair, and listened to the scrape of his pen on his notepad.
“I don’t know how to describe Amy.” I said.